(ru) wrote: Tribulation is the third in the Apocalypse series, of which I have not seen the other two. As far as I can tell, it's not really important to have seen the other two except so that you can say, "Oh! I know what's going to happen to HER!" Because, you see, the movie begins before the apocalypse has happened. Tom (Busey) and his wife are not Christians. There's no question about this because Tom's wife calls somebody on the phone to say, "Have you ever heard of this ridiculous thing called the 'rapture'?" Tom's sister is an ardent Christian, though, and warns Tom that when the rapture comes, he may not be one of the few taken into Heaven. Meanwhile, Tom's brother-in-law Jason (Mandel) has fallen for the slick talk of a self-proclaimed prophet who calls himself Lucifer, strangely. Then Tom falls into a deep coma, wakes up some time later (he's grown a long gray beard while comatose) and finds that the rapture has indeed arrived, and millions of people have just disappeared from the face of the Earth -- they've gone to Heaven. Although, really, the only person who disappeared from the movie was Tom's sister Eileen, so I wasn't really convinced that there were really that many people gone. Now it becomes a race against the devil. Our old, over-weight, limping protagonist manages to elude some physically fit police officers and spends the rest of the movie hiding out from the people who have been brain-washed to believe that the Anti-Christ is the true messiah. Tom knows his wife is still alive, though, because she and a few other upper-middle class WASPs have managed to form a resistance effort that channels bad evangelical sermons into all television sets. Yes! One point for the home team! Somehow, Tom is the one who has the key to the whole world: when he finds out that one of his lackeys let Tom free, Marco/Satan says, "You let the wrong one go!" Why is Tom the RIGHT one? The biggest problem with the movie is that, you know, aside from the killings, the "bad guys" were much more convincing than the good guys. Eileen asked her brother to rely on faith, but he only came to God after being shown with physical evidence that there were supernatural events taking place. So what's the point of faith? When one of the 'brain-washed' people gets up and throws a Bible away, saying, "There's no room in this world for these lies", I was compelled to applaud. But then he tries to kill his wife. But do you know the reason that these people were so easily led to the devil? Because they were college professors, scientists, etc. We gotta keep on fighting the good fight in the war against knowledge. Awesome. There's a ton of silly things in this movie, including several times when it seems the actors messed up (Busey trips at one point) but the director kept rolling. Maybe the directors thought that made it look more real. That said, if you take out the weird religious themes, give it a better budget, and a different leading actor... this actually wouldn't have been too bad of a movie. Or at least, it wouldn't have been much worse than a lot of what's being put out right now. Unfortunately, though, Apocalypse III: Tribulation DOES go on and on about how great God is, ensuring that the movie only works for the already converted because their sole argument for the existence of God is look, the rapture has arrived! I guess that's fine: I'm not the intended audience. But it's weird having Gary Busey be the smartest character in the movie for most of the time (until he, in turn, gets brain-washed by the resistance). That's kind of a sick, dark humor, actually. He spends so much time trying to avoid being turned by this false messiah that he isn't aware of the zombies at Rat Lake that are clawing for his brains, too. Man, if only the movie had explored that angle. Or if there had been a twist ending and it turned out that Gary Busey was the Anti-Christ the entire time. That would have been kick-ass.
(au) wrote: Having not since this since the days of being a kid, it was nice to check out Trilogy of Terror as an adult. Apparently they used to have cool little movies like this on TV long before terrible reality shows and really bad modern sitcoms. Karen Black holds it together throughout the three stories all playing different characters with not many similarities. While the Zuni doll one was the most memorable for me as a kid, I really liked the seconf story about the "sisters" the most.